This paper argues that Edward B. Lewis served as a type of independent academic radiation LNT-cancer risk assessment-stalking horse for the BEAR Genetics Panel, a task for which he had no expertise or experience (e.g. radiation, leukemia, epidemiology and statistical modelling). His efforts produced an insufficiently documented, strongly biased, and high-profile paper in Science (May 17, 1957), whose principal conclusions had not been proven, he asserted privately, in writing. This inconclusive perspective was well camouflaged in the published paper by means of sophisticated wordsmithing. At the time his academic department head George Beadle came to chair the BEAR Genetics Panel in the summer of 1956, the Beadle-inspired-Lewis LNT activity acquired an urgency when a study of 70,000 offspring from survivors of the A-bombs failed to show genetic damage after a decade of careful study, undercutting Panel recommendations. With Beadle’s guidance, the Lewis effort redirected the Panel’s focus from the atomic bomb genetic damage study, which had acrimoniously disrupted Panel relationships and priorities, to more immediate disciplinary/professional opportunities with concerns about fallout, leukemia risks and a new cancer causation role for mutation. The serious limitations of the Lewis paper affected neither its publication in Science nor its receiving an editorial endorsement, possibly due to influence by powerful Panel members, such as Bentley Glass, one of only six senior editors for Science. The Science publication restored, even though improperly, the scientific and moral initiatives of the Panel and led directly to multiple high level LNT recommendations for cancer risk assessment based on the Precautionary Principle, which Lewis asserted, and which remains in place today in essentially all countries. The present paper explores how such a scientific long-shot and quasi-stalking horse, who was unsupported by BEAR Panel members during the withering criticism prompted by his Science article, nevertheless endured in the pursuit of Lewis’ LNT goal, becoming strikingly successful in achieving a global cancer risk assessment revolution which remains in place.
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